How Strong is Your Brand? (Fanciful Marks)

This is my final blog post in a series discussing the spectrum of distinctiveness and how the spectrum can be used to analyze the relative strength of a trademark. This post is about marks that are fanciful. I discussed the relatively weaker types of trademarks, generic marks, merely descriptive marks, suggestive marks, and arbitrary marks in previous posts.

Fanciful marks on the distinctiveness spectrum.

A fanciful mark is one consisting of a coined or invented name. A few examples of fanciful marks are Kodak, Xerox, Pepsi, and Exxon.

Fanciful marks make strong brands. Like a suggestive or arbitrary mark, a fanciful mark can be registered directly to the Principal Register.


The position of your mark along the distinctiveness spectrum has a strong determining effect on whether you will be able to register it. It is highly recommended that you discuss potential trademark ideas before you put them in use. Involving competent legal counsel in the selection process of a business name, brand name, logo, slogan, or the like can affect how well you will be able to enforce it in the future–and can have a real effect on the value of your mark.

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